A few years ago, I lived in Korea for almost six months while filming a show about Korean food. So believe me when I say Koreans live on kimchi – they have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But if you ask any Korean what their favourite dish is, they will all say jjigae. A jjigae is a stew and it’s the heart of Korean home cooking.
Most people love Doenjang Jjigae which is made with the famous Korean miso paste, but the real red-blooded Korean loves Kimchi Jjigae with its gochujang spiced base and heaps of shredded kimchi. Classically it is made with pork belly, but the Buddhists (who abstain from groin-rumbling fiery chillies) make it without so it can be made vegan with vegan kimchi.
The reason this is souped-up is because, although the Koreans call it a stew, I’ve made it a little more brothy. If you want to add carbs you can cook some Korean sweet potato glass noodles and add them to the base.
- Rapeseed oil a splash
- Pork belly or unsmoked bacon 100g, thinly sliced
- Onions 2, thinly sliced
- Gochujang paste 1 tbsp, substitute 1 tbsp of doenjang paste if you want it to be less spicy
- Garlic cloves 2, grated
- Ginger 2cm, peeled and grated
- Korean chilli powder 1-2 tbsp
- Fresh chicken or vegetable stock 1 litre
- Kimchi 400g, shredded
- Silken tofu 300g, drained and cut into 12 slices
- Spring onions 3, finely chopped
- Sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil to serve
Recipe from Slow: Food Worth Taking Time Over by Gizzi Erskine (HQ, £25). Photography by Issy Croker.